Unlike most of this year’s earlier award shows, the 25th annual MTV Movie Awards featured a healthy dose of diversity. Case in point: fan favorite “Straight Outta Compton” was actually nominated — and won — at the ceremony, held Saturday night at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif. However, while those shows were broadcast live, The Movie Awards was pre-taped to air Sunday night, and featured a significant amount of profanity. “I’ll head-butt the sh-t out of Jesse Eisenberg tonight,” Kevin Hart said during his opening monologue alongside cohost and fellow “Central Intelligence” costar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Needless to say, the network had quite a bit of editing to do.
After The Rock engaged in a round of short jokes at Hart’s expense, Hart retorted by calling Johnson the “chocolate Shrek.” This was followed by several more f-bombs, and a rap sketch titled “when Leo got f—ed by a bear,” referencing DiCaprio’s role in “The Revenant.” The actor wasn’t present for a cutaway shot.
“This is not going to be able to air,” said several journalists in the backstage pressroom. Clearly, the same thought crossed Amy Poehler’s mind. “This show is already really dirty so I’m going to keep it PG because I want to keep my stuff in the broadcast,” said the comedienne as she picked up the Best Virtual Performance award for voicing a character in Disney’s “Inside Out.”
After Ryan Reynolds won Best Comedic Performance for his role in “Deadpool,” he cracked, “I want to thank my wife Blake [Lively]. Everything I do is to make her laugh…especially the sex.”
Rapper Kendrick Lamar presented “Straight Outta Compton” with the Best True Story award. “I’d just like to take a moment tonight to thank the Academy,” said Jason Mitchell, referring to their Oscar snub. And while Will Smith famously boycotted this year’s Oscars, the “Concussion” actor’s attendance was a sure thing since MTV gave him the Generation Award.
Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island performed a comedic musical tribute to Smith that included “Summertime,” “Men in Black,” and the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song before Queen Latifah and Halle Berry sang his praises. “We came up together in hip-hop. This is the guy who helped give me my start,” Latifah said, noting she opened for him on tour. “We love every single thing about you,” Berry added.
Said Smith, “When I first heard that MTV wanted to give me the Generation Award, I thought that was, like, code for the old ass dude award. ‘Congratulations. Your best work is behind you. Have fun.’”
Melissa McCarthy, whose new film “The Boss” opened number one at the box office this weekend, also received a special honor, the Comedic Genius Award.
Daisy Ridley used her Breakthrough Performance award-winning moment to shine a light on others. “It feels especially amazing to be part of a film that represents all genders, all races and all ages in a positive way,” she said.
Singer Halsey then got an A-list introduction from Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Chris Hemsworth. As snow flakes fell, the singer rocked a white cape and bodysuit while performing her song “Castle,” which is featured in the film “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.”
Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner introduced Ariana Grande’s performance. The singer channeled Marilyn Monroe in a pink strapless dress and white fur while performing her piano ballad “Dangerous Woman.” Later, Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine made good on their promise to make out if they won Best Kiss.
Other big winners included: “Amy” (Documentary), “Pitch Perfect 2” (Ensemble Cast), Adam Driver for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Best Villain), Jennifer Lawrence for “Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” (Best Hero), Ryan Reynolds and Ed Skrein for “Deadpool” (Best Fight), Chris Pratt for “Jurassic World” (Best Action Performance), Charlize Theron for “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Best Female Performance) and Leonardo DiCaprio for “Revenant” (Best Male Performance).
Naturally, the show wasn’t short on celebs vying for a spot on next year’s nominations list by promoting their upcoming movies. Chris Evans debuted an exclusive clip from his upcoming film “Captain America: Civil Wars” as did “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” star Eddie Redmayne, in addition to Smith and his “Suicide Squad” castmates Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne.
Samuel L. Jackson and Alexander Skarsgard concluded the night by handing out the Golden Popcorn trophy for Movie of the Year to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “It was an incredible honor to be part of the ‘Star Wars’ saga, and for the film to receive this award voted by you, the fans, is incredibly gratifying,” said director J.J. Abrams, during one of the night’s tamest moments. At least the show’s final scene didn’t need to be edited out.